Axcess is an up and coming rapper out of the midwest and he sits down to talk with us about juggling teaching, coaching, and music; whether he’d take a state championship or a sold out concert, and bringing positivity to hip-hop through his music. He also discusses the current state of hip-hop, his influences growing up, and his upcoming mixtape, Rebel Against Society.
Towards my sophomore year I started seeing kind of the tunnel. My football career, wasn’t going downhill, but I’m edging towards my senior year and I’m not gonna make it in pro so I kind of wanted to pick something else. Always had a passion for music, my roommate at that time had real big passion for music, and that’s kinda how it started…I started out doing the DJ stuff, hosting mixtapes, because like I said I wanted to find some type of other outlet while I was young and that was kind of one of the first things that came to mind and I really enjoyed it, I got to meet several artists, I got to talk to several artists, and that’s one thing that it really did teach me, was how to network and to kind of get your name out there…I did that for a little bit, but my heart wasn’t really into it, so my roommate was like ‘Well let’s start writing and start making some songs.’ Recorded our first couple of songs and I was hooked ever since then.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP/SOLD OUT CONCERT?
I couldn’t choose between winning a state championship or selling out a concert. Those are two just amazing feelings, that’s something I couldn’t choose. If I had one of those in my lifetime, I’d consider myself incredibly blessed. So I’d take either one.
To be able to reach people on another level. Being able to impact someone’s life, if I can do that in a positive way, my career is a success. I don’t really value my career based on how much music I’ve sold or any of that, but it’s how many lives have I reached or how many emails have I gotten that this person said ‘Hey this song means so much to me, this is why…’ I’ve done that already a couple of times, but I think it would be even more of a success if I could get on a bigger platform.
Being positive in the hip-hop industry can be limiting, but at the same time I feel like I have an overall wider spectrum to be able to reach. Not only can I rap for kids, but I can also rap for adults, there’s even 50/60 year old people that can vibe with my stuff just because it is somewhat positive and it all relates to life or life experiences…you have to be a little bit more creative. Right now if you listen to the radio it’s a bunch of songs that don’t necessarily have substance but it’s just made for the overall sound. What I’m going for is something more than that…emotions start to come over because it’s something that you felt. That’s what I’m going for. That’s something you have to be more creative and take more time as, as an artist…I remember when I was at college and the football team would have to go to elementary school classrooms and kind of hang out with the kids every now and then. One of the 5th graders at one of the elemetary schools was singing word for word one of my songs, and that was that moment where I was like ‘Alright I need to watch what I say.’ You don’t think about it now when we’re adults, but when we were kids music was just such a big influence and you took every little thing, and you studied that artist, what they looked like, how they talked, stuff like that so you know as an artist we are huge influences on our youth and you know I accepted that responsibility to shine a positive light.
Tupac was one of my biggest growing up, I still jam Tupac at least once a week. Right now J. Cole is one of my biggest influences, just because his wordplay, his structure, his delivery, his beats, it’s just poetry in motion, it’s beautiful, it’s hip-hop. He’s something I really enjoy listening to right now. Trev Rich out of Denver, I’ve known him since he was Rocky G5 I think when he was about 16 or 17 years old. Just got signed to Cash Money, so shout out to Trev Rich, but he’s been an inspiration lately and Raz Simone.
It’s our pop culture. When something is created, it’s created with love, it’s created with passion, and then once it gets out to the industry level, it’s factory made. Hip-Hop nowadays is watered down, it’s stuff where they’re getting songs out just to get out, but at the same time there’s some amazing artists out there, they just don’t really have the audience right now. So there’s still some great hip-hop, it’s just flooded right now by your industrial stuff, it happens, but at the same time there’s just so much talent out there, it’s hard to find the diamond in the rough.
Your biggest rewards come from your biggest risks, and in order for you to be successful at anything in life you’re gonna have to reach out and fail sometimes. You’re gonna have to reach out and chase after those fears. One of my biggest fears growing up was just to get in front of people and talk. Now I’m in a classroom almost everyday and I’m on stage in front of hundreds of people. It’s one of things where I was so scared of it, now I absolutely love doing that stuff. Overcoming those fears and challenges may be the hardest, but at the end of the day it’s the journey that you look at and once you overcome those obstacles those are the things you enjoy the most and those are the things you take pride in. So definitely fearless to be successful at anything in life.
I’ve got my RAS mixtape, which is Rebel Against Society. I kind of just want to open some people’s eyes to what we really value in life and what’s kind of going on that we may not be paying attention (to). Rebel Against Society is still positive, but a little grittier than my Growth album. I’m real excited, it’s got 11 tracks on it, it’s got some spoken word, it’s got some soul artists on there, some acoustic guitar artists on there, so it’s a little bit of everything. It is coming out February 3rd, it’s a Friday, 2017, so be sure to check that out.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.